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KZN storm alert issued for this afternoon

Five vital steps to take when thunderstorms strike

The KZN provincial government has issued a storm alert for this afternoon (Thursday, 12 January).

KZN MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Nomusa Dube-Ncube placed the province’s disaster management teams on standby, following reports received from the South African Weather Service (SAWS) which indicate severe thunderstorms are expected in western parts of the province from 3pm to 5pm

The warning comes at a time when the province is recovering from the massive damage and loss of human life which took place since December, when there were seven fatalities due to drownings and incidents caused by heavy rains. The province also noted 42 injuries reported in Nquthu and Umhlabuyalingana local municipalities. Some 39 of these were caused by lightning while the other three were due to a wall collapse.

“We urge our communities to take this weather warning seriously as we have seen how deadly lightning can be. The reports we have received indicate the areas to be affected in the west and south-west of the province will include the areas of Harry Gwala, uThukela and Amajuba District. This means residents of these areas need to be cautious and take all necessary steps to protect themselves and their families,” said Dube-Ncube.

“We also urge parents and teachers to ensure learners are inside class whenever there is lightning and that no sporting activity takes place during lightning storms. We need learners to be taught about the dangers of lightning and heavy rains so that they do not place themselves at risk unnecessarily,” said Dube-Ncube.

“The deployment of our disaster management teams to the affected areas will go a long way towards ensuring that we can respond timeously to all reported incidents,” said Dube-Ncube.

Five vital steps to take when thunderstorms strike:

  • If outside, seek refuge in a car or grounded building when lightning or thunder begins
  • If inside, avoid taking a bath or shower, and washing dishes
  • Avoid using landline phones, televisions, and other appliances which conduct electricity
  • Stay inside for 30 minutes after you last see lightning or hear thunder.
  • If caught outside away from a building or car, stay clear of water bodies and tall objects like trees.

 

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